Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another non-sunflowery member of the sunflower family

with 16 comments

Ageratina havanensis Flowers 8854

Speaking of shrubs that don’t look like sunflowers but that are indeed in the same botanical family, here are some flowers (and a few buds) of an Ageratina havanensis bush, known as shrubby boneset and white mistflower. I could have cropped my subject more tightly, but I chose to leave extra space so you could get more of a feel for the leaves and also so there’d be more green to contrast with the pale pink of the flowers.

Like the last couple of photographs, this one comes from the greenbelt adjacent to Great Hills Park on November 4th.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 18, 2015 at 4:51 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Bonjour Steve, merci pour ton petit mot. Superbe fleur blanche.
    En ce moment j’ai eu la chance de voir quelques insectes mais avant que j’habite ici j’avais un blog avec beaucoup d’entomologie car je vivais au milieu des bois. Il y avait une faune et une flore incroyable…
    Je te souhaite une bonne semaine.


    November 18, 2015 at 5:02 AM

    • Rebonjour, Chantal. Je ne savais ni que tu avais un blog avec beaucoup d’entomologie ni que tu habitais au milieu des bois. Comme on dit en anglais: live and learn.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2015 at 7:16 AM

  2. While I was off fighting mosquitos on Sunday, I found huge stands of blue mistflower: Conoclinium coelestinum. I couldn’t figure out the relationship between this little beauty and that one, but when I read that blue mistflower sometimes is called wild ageratina, I kept looking. This seems to explain the mystery:

    “…Eupatorium used to be the accepted genus for a whole group of similar plants. The taxonomists, in their wisdom, have put blue mistflowers in the genus Conoclinium.

    The species that grows in eastern Texas and into the eastern edge of the Hill Country is Conoclinium coelestinum. A frillier-leafed species, C. greggii (dissectum), grows in western Edwards Plateau, the Trans Pecos, and farther west.

    My favorite native “Eupatorium,” is no longer in that genus either. It is the thoroughwort or white boneset, once named Eupatorium havanense and now called Ageratina havanensisby many botanists.”

    I suspect this is a butterly favorite, too. The blue mistflowers were covered wtih Gulf fritillaries.


    November 18, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    • Your reference to fighting mosquitos reminded me that in eastern Honduras there’s a region called la Mosquitia, which I never visited, and where I would have had a hard time if I had, given the way I attract those critters.

      When I started exploring native plants in 1999, I used Marshall Enquist’s Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country, which still had species of what is now Ageratina and Conoclinium listed as Eupatorium. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin usually has one or more stands of Conoclinium greggii, with butterflies and other insects conspicuously attracted to the flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2015 at 7:34 AM

  3. A most interesting looking non-sunflowery sunflower! Beautiful photo, Steve.


    November 18, 2015 at 8:26 AM

  4. My yard boneset is Eupatorium perfoliatum . Both are in the same Tribe…Eupatorieae and I see that besides mistflower Ageratina havanensis is also a snakeroot.

    Steve Gingold

    November 18, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    • I searched your blog but didn’t turn up any Eupatorium photos. Perhaps one of these days?

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2015 at 5:44 PM

      • It’s been there, but as a supporting cast for insects. Search boneset. I have not posted anything that was just the flower.

        Steve Gingold

        November 18, 2015 at 5:55 PM

  5. This is a fascinating plant, I’m going to search out a bit more information on the internet to understand it a little more..

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    November 19, 2015 at 1:53 AM

    • Fortunately I know the locations of several of these bushes in my neighborhood. They normally bloom in the fall, but in a warm winter I’ve observed flowers continuing almost till spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 6:00 AM

  6. I have both the white and the blue in my yard and I love them both. White for the lovely scent and blue for the color!


    November 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    • Then like the old television commercials for chewing gum, you can double your pleasure and your fun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 8:36 PM

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